Background. Low- and no-cost mammography programs have become a widespread strategy to increase access to breast cancer screening in low-income populations. However, rigorous evaluations of who remains unscreened in communities with these programs are lacking. We conducted a case-control study of African American older women in East Baltimore, Maryland, comparing attendees at a no-cost program to friends and neighbors not using no-cost venues. Methods. We recruited 288 women ages 50 and older, who attended a no-cost program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, to complete a 11/2 h home interview, answering semistructured and open-ended questions about cancer and health and a wide range of social and psychological items. For each case, we recruited one friend or neighbor, within 5 years of age, not receiving no-cost screening, to complete a similar control interview. Matched case-control analyses were used to compare program attendees to nonattendees within the target community. Results. Women using the no-cost program at least once were generally more poorly screened than their neighborhood control prior to the program, but had better recent screening history 3 years after the program began. In multivariate analyses, program attendees were more likely to have >$10,000 annual income (OR = 2.34, 95% CI 1.55,3.61), more likely to have had more children (OR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.04,1.24), and less likely to have health insurance (OR = 0.42, 95% CI 0.25,0.68). They were more likely to see a female primary care provider (OR = 1.82, 95% CI 1.24,2.70) and to see multiple providers (OR = 3.38, 95% CI 1.52,8.60). Conclusions. Low-cost screening intervention programs reach women who might otherwise not receive screening. However, within target communities, improved partnerships with specific types of primary care providers could reach additional women.
- Breast cancer screening
- Low income
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health